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NRW says that figure could change later in the season as the cockles get bigger.
A three-year investigation commissioned by the Welsh Government into cockle deaths off Gower concluded water pollution was not to blame though many gatherers thought pollution may have been to blame.
4 THERE are more than 250 different species of cockles around the world.
The permanent ban, which will remain in place until August 31 2013, is to protect limited cockle stocks and to stop over-exploitation.
There are 50 licensed cockle pickers who must adhere to strict operating procedures and gather no more than 300kg of cockles every day.
Not only does this raise serious health risks, it also ruins any possibility of nurturing a sustainable cockle population.
David Edwell, area manager for EAW, said: "Passing an independent MSC assessment of the cockle beds will be testament to the new licensing system we have introduced on the efforts of the cocklers.
The North Western and North Wales Sea Fisheries Committee made the decision after it reported that numbers of both adult and juvenile cockles were low.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency says there have been 16 cockle picker rescues this year.
He said: "There is so much ill-feeling between these rival cockle gangs.